Floating Floor vs Glue Down - What is Best?

Floating Floor vs Glue Down - What is Best?

In this article we cover the differences between floating and glued down (direct stuck) timber flooring, and the different situations they are suitable for. Note we are discussing timber flooring not laminate flooring - all our laminates should be floated.

Glue Down Method

The glue down (aka Direct Stuck) method involves fixing your floor directly to the substrate using an adhesive. This is our preferred method of installation for most circumstances as it provides a floor that is firmer and quieter to walk on and eliminates the risk of squeaking joints. However in some circumstances a floating floor may be more suitable.
  • A long-term investment that adds value to a property
  • Quieter and firmer to walk on than a floating floor
  • Provides optimum heat transfer for under floor heating systems
  • No trims necessary - enables a seamless look between rooms and/or transitions into different areas such as carpet or tiles
  • Enables the floor to be sanded back (provided the flooring is compatible)
  • Suitable for parquet pattern flooring
  • Best suited to either concrete or plywood subfloors
  • Usually more expensive to install as you will need glue and moisture barrier
  • Takes a little longer to install
  • Not recommended in earthquake-prone areas
  • May not be suitable for installing over existing floor coverings such as tiles

    Floating Method

    Floating floors are not directly fixed to the subfloor but are instead laid over an underlay without any glue, relying on the weight of the floor and the floors joint system to keep it in place. The floating method is not our preferred method of installation however it may be the best option if time or cost are of concern, and it is also a wise option to take if you are installing in an earthquake-prone area.
    Please note: We recommend all floating floors to have a locking joint system - Flooring with T&G joints should not be floated. Please ensure your flooring is specified compatible with floating by the manufacturer before commencing installation.
  • Generally a cheaper option
  • Quick to install
  • Can work over just about any subfloor, providing it meets the recommended tolerances - e.g. Plywood, ceramic tile, lino floors, concrete and more
  • Can be used for temporary floors
  • Not considered to add as much value to a property as a glued down floor
  • Noisier and often hollow-sounding to walk on, joints may squeak
  • Less effective heat transfer when installed over under floor heating systems
  • Edge trims are mandatory as the floor needs to be able to move
  • Expansion gaps must be allowed or you risk the floor squeaking
  • Subfloor must be flat otherwise you risk having hollow-sounding areas
  • Can't be sanded back - because the floor is not fixed the sander bounces around on it, resulting in an uneven and unattractive sanded finish
  • Not suitable for most parquet pattern flooring

    For all flooring installations we would like to recommend that you get a professional and reputable floor-layer to perform the installation.
    Professional floor layers have the tools and expertise and will be able to lay more efficiently than yourself or any builder and prevent any wastage from mistakes. Using a professional installer will save you time and provide an end result that is of utmost quality. Be sure to contact us if you would like to know what installers we recommend in your area - we would be more than happy to help.

    We wish you the best of luck with your timber flooring installation!

    Date Added: Friday, 17th February 2017


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